Dirk Nowitzki Leads Mavericks to Victory In Spite of Illness

Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki was fighting a 102-degree fever when he won Game 4 of the NBA finals with a last minute layup, but should he have been playing at all? INSIDE EDITION has the story.

Dirk Nowitzki led his team to victory in the NBA finals game on Tuesday night, in spite of an illness that would have kept most people in bed!

"Dirk Nowitzki looks absolutely exhausted right now, he has a fever of about 102," an announcer said.

No one questions the courage of the Dallas Mavericks superstar Dirk Nowitzki, but the question is: should he have been playing basketball with a fever of 102 and a sinus infection?

It was a hot topic on Live with Regis and Kelly.

Kelly Ripa said, "He played even with a fever? I wouldn't have wanted to be on the other team! Wouldn't you feel like you'd surely get sick?"

Before you laugh, consider a medical opinion. INSIDE EDITION consulted with Dr. Marc Siegel, who rendered Ripa's concerns legitimate. "He could have infected others by sneezing, coughing, sweating and touching other players," Siegel said, "The ball itself could transmit bacteria or viruses that could have been transmitted to other players.

Throughout the game, Nowitzki continually coughed and wiped his nose. Although his performance for most of the final was less than stellar, Nowitzki hit the game winning shot against the Miami Heat.

Nowitzki's efforts are being lauded by WFAN sports radio host Joe Benigno, who isn't surprised that the basketball legend chose to play.

"Unless his leg was amputated, he was not missing that basketball game," Beningo said.

Bundled up in a jacket after the game, Nowitzki himself downplayed the fever that plagued him all night.

"It wasn't 103, but it was 101 this morning. I didn't really have a good night's rest," he said.